Summer, summer, summer! I love summer in general but mainly because it is that vitamin refill. Isn’t summer almost all about tones of vegetable intake? The taste of this mixed grilled veggies, polenta and chicken casserole is just divine.
I always love a good mix of vegetables in general but the fact that they are grilled and this containing aubergine and peppers it just hits the ultimate taste jackpot for me.
It can be a complete vegan dish and I can’t really explain why but I love eating this cold if I leave the chicken out with warm or even cold polenta.
I have to tell you that this dish is just a breath of fresh air. It is simply superb so just give it a try ?!
This again is a dish that I used to eat a lot as a kid; my mum used to make it often in the summer months and the whole neighbourhood could smell it!
That grilling of the veggies, especially the pepper, the smell… ah, out of this world!.
I just adore the grilled or fried peppers smell and taste, I could just have that all day, every day.
The colours in this are just amazing and tell you how good this is.
Above all, it is low carbs, gluten free and packed with veggies so can’t go wrong with such a choice.
Of course you can choose to have it with no meat at all or swap the chicken for beef, pork lamb or even fish, for short have it with your favourite meat or copletely meatless.
The polenta here must be a little dense and not too soft but this can be sometimes tricky to get right as the water amount needed really depends on how starchy the flour is and I do suggest you use a cornflour that you know and have used before. Do not worry if it gets too dense or it is too runny, you can always add some more water or cornmeal, whatever it is needed.
Cornmeal does not contain any gluten or wheat and thus should be safe for people on a celiac diet. However, cross-contamination is always a concern. Just make sure the one you have is certified gluten–free cornmeal if need being. You can also buy precooked polenta that comes in a package. I do prefer the freshly made one though, it is the best.
Lets get on with some cooking, shall we?
Mixed grilled veggies, polenta and chicken casserole
Ingredients to prepare the chicken casserole
- 500 g chicken thighs
- 2 courgettes
- 2 aubergines
- 2 onions (red or white)
- 2-4 red peppers
- 500 ml passata (or any tomato juice or chopped ones canned or fresh)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g Kalamata olives
- 2 springs thyme (fesh or dry)
- 2 tsp himalayan salt
- 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- parsley (fresh) to garnish
Ingredients to prepare the polenta
- 150 g polenta flour
- 500 ml water
- 1 pinch rosemary (chopped)
- Wash and chop all vegetables. Put them into a big tray/bowl. Sprinkle some olive oil and salt over them.
- Using a griddle pan or charcoal BBQ (best taste) grill all vegetables. **
- Cook the chicken either in a pan or on BBQ.
- Place a pot with the water for the polenta on medium/high fire, add the salt and allow to boil.
- Separately, place a deep frying pan over medium heat, put a tbsp of olive oil and put all grilled vegetables in. Cook them covered with some salt on low fire sprinkling water from time to time so that they don't stick to the pan. Cook for 5 min.
- Add the Passata, mix well and cook for 15' from boiling point on low fire. Cook covered for 10 min and uncovered for 5. Add the olives in the last 2 minutes of cooking so they just about release a little bit of flavour but don't really get to cook. Don't worry if you forget just add them at the end.
- While the casserole is simmering away, let's go back to our lovely polenta. When the water for the polenta is boiling, add the chopped thyme or rosemary and then the polenta flour while stirring gently until it all homogenizes. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes and then allow to cook for 2 minutes. Repeat this 3-4 times and then take out on a plate.
- When casserole is ready and most juices have reduced down is ready so turn heat off, add the finely chopped garlic stir for 10 seconds and sprinkle some chopped parsley.
- It's all good to go!